Cover image for Islam is--
Islam is--
Funk, Mary Margaret.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Lantern Books, 2003.
Physical Description:
vii, 120 pages ; 22 cm
An unlikely voice -- An earthly religion -- The pillars of Islam -- Insights into Islam -- Three questions -- Conclusion.
Electronic Access:
Table of contents
Format :


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BP161.3 .F86 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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For the last seven years, Benedictine nun Sr. Mary Margaret Funk has engaged in interfaith dialogue with American Muslims in an effort to bridge the gaps that seem to divide Christianity and Islam. Islam Is... is the fruit of her reflection on Islam, a religion that has challenged and transformed her and in which she has found startling similarities to her own deeply held Catholic practice and beliefs. She examines the controversial issues of terrorism, women's rights and economic power, and offers Christians everywhere and Catholics in particular a way of viewing Islam that is honest and authentic. The book concludes with an afterword by Islamic scholar Dr. Shahid Athar, who dialogues with and explores Sr. Mary Margaret's ideas.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Funk, a Roman Catholic nun who has participated in Christian-Muslim interfaith dialogues for seven years, offers a simple and surprisingly personal primer on her impressions of Islam. She begins in the usual manner, describing the revelations to Muhammad and the rise of Islam in 7th-century Arabia. Although the writing can be workmanlike ("I will begin by looking at the life of Muhammad"), the information is clearly presented and the tone humble and deferential. In describing the five pillars of Islam, Funk draws on some helpful personal experiences: as a Benedictine nun, she is intimately familiar with the routine of stopping worldly activities five times a day to engage in communal prayer, and therefore has a deep regard for a similar practice in Islam. She also paints a very detailed and interesting portrait of what a hajj (pilgrimage) is like, and describes how the Islamic ideal of social justice is inherent in the practices of zakat (almsgiving) and the Ramadan fast. A closing chapter explores the three questions she is most often asked about Islam: Does it foster violent fundamentalism? (Not necessarily.) Can women be considered equal partners to men? (Yes.) Can Islam be democratic? (Yes.) An afterword by her friend Shahid Athar, a Muslim American physician, gently corrects a couple of finer points, but thanks Funk for the deeply respectful attention she has given to Islam. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved